Ideas for Reports and Papers
1. Some critics have compared Call It Courage to classical literary tragedy. Is Mafatu a tragic hero? What are the tragic moments in the book?
2. Call It Courage has also been called a romantic legend. In what ways does it follow the pattern of the classic adventure romance with regard to the departure, initiation, and return of the hero?
3. Compare the tale of Mafatu to that of Robinson Crusoe. How do Crusoe and Mafatu handle the situations they find themselves in? In what ways are their responses to nature similar and different?
4. Could Call It Courage be considered an allegory of growing up? What would the sea symbolize? Are there other symbols that could be related to adolescence and maturity?
5. Compare the life and culture of modern Polynesia with that of Mafatu's time. Is the sea still as important to the lives of the people?